Street drinkers could be banned from Weston-super-Mare town centre
PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:07 17 October 2016
Weston's authorities say they are working together to 'stamp out' the problem issue of street-drinking in the town centre.
Street drinking has been a problem in the town centre for a number of years, despite it being a no-drinking area.
However, the police and North Somerset Council have been working together in an effort to put an end to issues and ease public concerns.
A recent Partners and Communities Together meeting saw residents raise concerns about the number of people drinking throughout the day.
One elderly woman said she had been accosted by a group of men drinking in Grove Park, in Grove Road. She was also concerned for her granddaughter, who walks through the park on her way to school regularly.
Police say they have begun to tackle the issue by seeking Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) through the courts for repeat offenders.
Council antisocial behaviour case worker, Clair Sandilands, said: “So far this year – working with the police, other partner agencies, residents and businesses – we have successfully given three CBOs for street drinkers, which bans them from parts of Weston including the town centre.
“We will continue to work with our partners to stamp out this antisocial behaviour in the town centre.”
Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers can and will seize alcohol.
Police inspector Sharon Bennett said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy public spaces and not suffer from antisocial behaviour caused by drinking.
“We continue to work with our partners and local residents to tackle the issue.”
The police also have the support of Weston Town Centre Partnership, which promote the town.
Town centre manager Steve Townsend, told the Mercury he feels the bottom of Grove Park has become one of the town’s main hotspots for drinkers.
He said the issue is seasonal and gets worse throughout the summer months.
He added: “It is an ongoing problem we are dealing with.
“Our street wardens do not have the power to take drinks off them, but they know some of the frequent drinkers and where they hang out.”